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Old 07-09-2019, 10:54 PM   #1
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Curious Local Customs

1. The local superstition is that pictorial representations of the dead bind them to the living world. For that reason all such images are destroyed unless the subject is considered by the state or next of kin to be worthy of a kind of damnation. Therefore their cities are adorned with statuary of their most despised traitors and criminals.

2. Seeing someone else eat is reserved for close family members. Restaurants therefore enclose their tables in privacy curtains.

3. The locals don't wear clothes

4. Men and women are expected to live separately meeting only in designated areas for commerce except during the fertility festival.

5. A failure to be polite when speaking to others is a criminal offense.

6. Displays of anger and sadness are regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.

7. All body hair is depilated, with eyebrows cosmetically painted on.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:53 AM   #2
Black Leviathan
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

The local culture has social customs deeply rooted in times of plague. Touching is forbidden outside of family and when conversing personally or inside of a building it is considered rude not to cover your mouth.

The area was settled by people who didn't have strong animal husbandry skills and their isolation from other towns has kept them from adopting other social norms. Horse and Dog are on the menu and your affection for those animals is funny to them.

Five generations ago, several wars in rapid succession caused this town to stop relying on the leadership of men. Boys are now raised to raise children and keep the home clean while women of the town labor and guard. Such a town would be understandably wary of anyone who comes in with strange opinions about a woman's place.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:55 PM   #3
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

On the anniversary of someone's death, for a number of years based on status (once for commoners, several decades for a king), the deceased's body is exhumed and given an additional funeral.

The king has a slave. Every third year, the king and the slave swap places.

The first chicken to hatch each year is given to the church. It is permitted to roam freely in the church grounds and buildings, and it is sacrilegious to harass it (even to shoo it away to stand should it decide to sit on your lap).
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:51 AM   #4
Žorkell
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
On the anniversary of someone's death, for a number of years based on status (once for commoners, several decades for a king), the deceased's body is exhumed and given an additional funeral.
Something similar to this is apparently done in Madagascar. Once in a while you dig up your dead ancestors and update them on the happenings in your family and introduce family members to the deceased.

Assuming, of course, that QI is a reliable source.
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
Something similar to this is apparently done in Madagascar. Once in a while you dig up your dead ancestors and update them on the happenings in your family and introduce family members to the deceased.

Assuming, of course, that QI is a reliable source.
QI? no clue what that's referencing.

Many cultures have family gatherings at the family gravesites. The ones with mummification or intentional skeletonization seem to also add pulling the ancestor's remains out.

Early Christians would hold services at small altars set up at martyr's niches.

Pagan-era Rome buried the dead in the catacombs, and are thought to have had family meals with dead relatives in them, so the Christians turning it to the services in the 2nd C wasn't a huge red flag.
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:52 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
QI? no clue what that's referencing.
"Quite Interesting" is a British game show / comedy show. Host Stephen Fry (in the ones I've seen) tells a panel of comedians about some topic, and asks them questions. Often enough, the panelists are just using those as springboards for jokes, but the game show bit is to give correct answers, preferably interesting ones (to score more points) while avoiding the obvious answers to the questions (as the topic is generally chosen to be something where the "everybody knows" answers are wrong).

You can find episodes on YouTube and no doubt elsewhere. Just watch a few. It's easier to watch one to get the idea than to explain, and usually reasonably entertaining thanks to the interactions of the panelists, hosts, and the topic.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:00 PM   #7
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Many cultures have family gatherings at the family gravesites. The ones with mummification or intentional skeletonization seem to also add pulling the ancestor's remains out.
Given that China is usually the most populous part of the world and the fact that it's part of the Taoist tradition to exhume and scrape the bones of the deceased several times, I wouldn't be surprised if digging up your ancestors and doing something ritually with the remains was in fact often the normal human practice, and it's *not* doing it that's weird.
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Old 07-17-2019, 08:27 AM   #8
Michele
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Hoping you don't mind... but reversing your ideas may also bring about curious customs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
1. The local superstition is that pictorial representations of the dead bind them to the living world. For that reason all such images are destroyed unless the subject is considered by the state or next of kin to be worthy of a kind of damnation. Therefore their cities are adorned with statuary of their most despised traitors and criminals.
An accurate enough statue makes you immortal. This is not normally allowed, because the right thing to do is to pass away, at least upon having reached old age, making room for your descendants. So only exceptional leaders or artists are given a statue. They generally disappear, so the idea is that they are still alive, but gone elsewhere. If they are seen dying, then the likeness of the statue wasn't accurate enough.


Quote:
2. Seeing someone else eat is reserved for close family members. Restaurants therefore enclose their tables in privacy curtains.
Conversely, other bodily functions do not require privacy.

Quote:
3. The locals don't wear clothes
You always keep at least some small piece of garment on, even when you bathe, have sex, or get treated by a physician.

Quote:
4. Men and women are expected to live separately meeting only in designated areas for commerce except during the fertility festival.
Any one-sex gathering of more than three persons is considered really inappropriate.

Quote:
5. A failure to be polite when speaking to others is a criminal offense.
Politeness is seen as a sign of weakness, cowardice and inadequacy.


Quote:
6. Displays of anger and sadness are regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.
Lack of visible emotion when this would seem socially appropriate is regarded as symptomatic of mental illness requiring medical intervention.

Quote:
7. All body hair is depilated, with eyebrows cosmetically painted on.
No shaving or cutting, ever.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:28 PM   #9
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Location: Denver, CO
Default Re: Curious Local Customs

Young women wear a scarf to signal they are available for dating. Young men wear one to signal they are taken.

Due to ancient wisdom about ill words sticking in the mouth, any serious conversation is followed by spitting.

In a farming village, men take care of large animals like cattle and pigs while women take care of small animals like goats and chickens. Everybody just seems to know where the line is between "large" and "small"

On this space station, all resources must be reclaimed. The room with the recycling chamber is usually used for food waste, but can be well decorated for funerals. After the body is processed, the total nutrient counts are displayed and then talked about as if the deceased's virtue were somehow related to the amount of water and phosphate given back to the station. NOBODY mentions that one month later a new lottery will be held for who is now permitted to have a baby.

Everybody in town seems to have a necklace of teeth. Human teeth! Children's teeth! Turns out, this is what they do with baby teeth once they fall out. They believe that one should be cremated with one's ENTIRE body, so they keep their original teeth with them always.

Beets are an important part of every meal. EVERY MEAL! Some people strongly believe that you will get sick and die if you skip a few. Stewed beets, dried beets, beet juice... so many beets.
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Old 07-18-2019, 12:20 AM   #10
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Curious Local Customs

The town used to select it's leaders based on physical contests, but now elects them. The contests are now reduced to ceremonial demonstrations, with the elected leader always allowed to win.
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